Monday, March 30, 2009

Old hobbies never die

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

It’s true you know. Old hobbies never die. They just lie dormant until they are poked and prodded back into active life again. For the last few years my hobby has become knitting, but in the before-time I did needlework of varying kinds. Now my embroidery passion is again coursing through my veins and itching to fly out through my fingers. More about why a little later in this post.

My first needle-y hobby was crewel work. [Crewel has most of the same stitches as embroidery but is done with yarn instead of floss.] Mostly I just bought small kits and did them for family members. This one I brought back from my mom’s house and I think it was one of the first ones I ever did. I think it was a kit by Sunset.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Bless mom’s heart. She had it framed and hanging on the wall.

This piece was also framed and hanging on her wall. A Christmas gift.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Whatever possessed me to take on such a big needlework project (20” x 15”) I can’t imagine!  The pansies were done in 1975 and this epic was worked in 1978. I was on a crewel roll!

Here are a few close-ups.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Maybe I got overwhelmed with that project, I don’t know, but I moved from crewel on to counted cross-stitch and stuck with it for many years. Mostly samplers.

This one I modified the real pattern of the cats to portray each of the cats we had had up to that time, so each one with a name embroidered underneath it has custom markings and coat color.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Why I chose this one I’m not quite sure but it was fun to work on.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I also liked to do flowers ...

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

None of these were ever framed. They just never seemed to fit into the decor of whatever house we were living in with the exception of “Home Sweet Home” at the very beginning of this post. That one, I’m sure you’ll agree, fits in most anywhere.

What followed was a big gap in my creativity with any kind of needle. The hobby then became dogs. Breeding dogs ... showing dogs ... collecting dogs. A truly all-consuming hobby.

Then knitting arrived on the scene and all the unfinished or never begun needlework projects got shoved further back in the closet.

About three or four months ago I started to get the urge again and bought a very small “Learn to Embroider” kit at Michaels just to remind me of the stitches and see if I really would enjoy doing it again. I did, but the design was boring and I really couldn’t see myself hanging anything on my wall that said “Believe in Yourself.”

What really jump-started this old-but-found-again passion is the fault of two blogging sisters. Becky (of the heirloom iris) blogged about some quilt squares her sister had embroidered for the new grandbaby’s quilt. They were absolutely adorable and beautifully stitched! Then most recently she blogged again about her sister’s prowess with a needle in the form of these gorgeous teapot tea towels. I was totally hooked.

Tea towels! Now those I could use or give as useful gifts and how fun to create! With the help and advice of Becky’s sister Jan who pointed me in all the right directions, I purchased some iron-on transfer patterns on eBay and some flour sack cotton towels. Now I can hardly wait for them to arrive so I can get started!

I’ll be posting more on them when they arrive, but they are all designs of the vintage variety from the 1940’s and 50’s. And oh, by the way, If you think you might be a future recipient of some hand-embroidered tea towels and you really don’t think you’d want them, you’d better let me know.


Excellent, Lynne!  I am glad that you found the information that was useful to you.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

I have the same sort of collection - a couple of things that I gave to my mother that are now mine again, and a bunch of finished projects that have never been on a wall.  That is why I like to embroider things that can be used, and maybe even used up - thereby serving to justify making more! Can’t wait to see some WIP!

Ah, comments from the two who are responsible! Don’t worry, I’ll keep everyone updated!

i love the christmas one!!

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